Archives For Being Presbyterian

Photo Sep 27, 11 19 23 AMEveryone has a crazy idea—or multiple if you’re me.  Here’s the rationale for mine: every church and every candidate for ministry wants experience.  For candidates, it opens doors; it creates opportunities; it gives you purpose.   For churches, an experienced minister provides a sense of calm because the minister has done this before.  So what do you do if you need experience, yet can’t find an opportunity that provides it?  Looking at the statistics today on the PC(USA) website it shows there are 1494 individuals seeking a call; of that number 251 are candidates for ministry or first call seekers.  But there are only 486 positions,  of which 104 are open to candidates/first call seekers.  You don’t need a masters in mathematics to see there are more people than jobs.

Many of the folks I’ve spoken to who are seeking a call hear the response, “Thanks for your interest, but we are looking for someone with more experience.”  If you are a seminary trained, first call seeker your options for gaining experience are limited; if churches won’t call you how else does one gain experience?  The General Assembly has created various opportunities including Lilly Residents, For Such a Time As This, and 1001 Worshipping Communities—all of which provide experience for first call seekers.  These opportunities emerged when the church thought outside the box, finding ways to connect pastors with new opportunities.  I want to suggest the church continue this trend and urge churches to open themselves up to potentially calling first time call seekers to interim pastor positions.  The call of an interim aligns well with the experience first call seekers desire and/or need. Continue Reading…